More Swiss Banks Give Eric Holder One-Finger Salute
John Ransom | Sep 01, 2014
More Swiss banks are dropping out of the U.S. banking program that the IRS supposedly uses to prevent American citizens from stashing cash overseas to avoid taxes. Known for 100 years as the original tax haven, free from the prying eyes of governments around the world, Swiss banks have provided banking services that guaranteed anonymity to arms dealers, Nazis, and law-abiding Americans alike.
Offshore banks, especially Swiss banks, are not generally used to evade taxes however. The government already has enforcement mechanisms in place to prevent tax evasion by the use of offshore banks by American citizens. No smart rich person, with competent advice, would attempt such a thing. Instead rich people—like the few doctors left who have money-- use offshore banks to protect assets from lawyers and lawsuit seekers who would try to take those assets away. If assets are stashed overseas, they are generally immune from attachment by lawyers. In the asset protection world, this is known as a lawsuit avoidance strategy.
But using as an excuse their hunt for tax cheats-- and the war on terror-- the United States has been pushing overseas banks for access to private banking information from banks with no legal obligation to cooperate with a government that has no jurisdiction over them.
Like banks in Switzerland.
Now, however, some Swiss banks are having second thoughts.
At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. programme aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources.
Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with U.S. authorities in a programme brokered by the Swiss government to help the banks make amends for aiding tax evasion.
The key here is the phrase “make amends”. There is no mention of illegality here because Swiss banks fall under Swiss laws. But instead we are presented with a “Golly, gee, we sure are sorry that we broke no laws that we are bound to enforce, so have some cash anyway”-type pledge from Swiss banks that make it seem like the U.S. government and Swiss banks are really swell friends who need to make up.
And since U.S. banks are playing the same game with Obama and Eric Holder, I think the Swiss banks ought to be applauded for stopping that type of nonsense. No one should evade taxes, but the heavy hand of the government is prying into areas into which they have no legal right to go.
Like Switzerland. And home mortgages.
Why? Money, that’s why.
Because the program cited in the Swiss banking example is a variation on a scheme that the government is using here at home
There’s a growing need for banking reform in the United States. But it’s not the type of reform that Obama and his pals favor. Instead, using all the coercive powers of the federal government, the administration from “Chicago” has engaged in a greenmail campaign, long ago perfect by liberal special interests.
Growing up in Chicago I was witness to how Jesse Jackson Sr. and Operation PUSH would shake down companies for money in return for not being “hit” by special interests with the tag of being racist by the King of Black people.
It worked, keeping the Reverend Jackson and his various community organized confidence schemes in funds that he still lives off of.
So it’s hardly surprising that the Emperor of Black America, Barack Obama—who is at least Chicago-plated-- would bring this tactic to D.C.
Under Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, the administration has tagged banks as the bad guys—banks that are mostly the creation of the Obama administration genetic experimentation in banking. The government mixed Countrywide with Bank of America, JP Morgan with Bear Stearns, selling off parts of one bank to government-funded banks that were guaranteed by the Obama administration to make profits.
The ruse works like this: The Obama administration in conjunction with various “community organizations” have been chatting up the terrible wrong-doing that banks did in the 2008 financial crisis. These evil banks loaned the banks' capital to people for whom default was more likely, leaving the bank with large losses. The banks did this because if they didn’t they’d be hit with charges of racism by government types, community organizations and the various enforcement arms of various governmental units.
And for a while everything was lovely. The banks made more profits-- with an implied guarantee from the federal government that they wouldn’t lose money-- the government got their hooks deeper into banks, the real power in capitalist America. But when the economy slowed down and home prices stopped making ridiculous gains year after year, the scheme fell apart. That in part is why we had the 2008 financial crisis in the first place.
So after taking control of the banking system by bailing it out, Holder and Obama have now been going around engaging in “settlement” talks with U.S. banks over supposed abuses in regards to risky mortgage loans that banks took loses on. In return for the quid pro quo of not pursuing criminal charges against JP Morgan employees, for example, Holder and Obama have agreed to take a $13 billion settlement from JP Morgan for loans in made in 2005-2007 by a company that Obama made JP Morgan-- Bears Sterns-- buy with government money during the financial crisis.
$9 billion of that settlement goes to the federal government.
But it’s the criminal charges part that is so worrisome.
It’s why the Swiss should be applauded.
There are too many here in this country that would trade their liberty for a $13 billion settlement that means they—or their employees—won’t have to tangle with a greedy government that has the coercive power to put them in jail. And while the Swiss banks don't have anything like that at stake, they do have the one thing that Swiss banks are supposed to care about: Money.
By giving Eric Holder the finger it means they won’t be parting with any.
For me it’s just refreshing for one party, like Swiss banks, to be doing exactly what they should be doing under the law that applies to them.
I remember when that was the rule, not the exception.
Hopefully it spreads here at home.